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14 Dec 2009 : Column 730Wcontinued
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many projects in progress at the UK Border Agency on 1 November 2009 did not have (a) signed-off business cases and (b) end dates; and what the total budget is of the programmes in each category. 
Mr. Woolas: This financial year UKBA has had 12 areas of activity it treats as programmes and projects, of which one had closed by 1 November. This leaves 11 programmes and projects within the corporate portfolio that support the UKBA business plan, change programme and wider Home Office initiatives.
Out of the 11 programmes and projects, two do not yet have a signed-off business case. The two projects are in the process of developing their business cases and are due to go through financial and other approval processes in early 2010.
All 11 programmes and projects have a planned end date.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished admission episodes to hospital there were in each strategic health authority area (a) in total and (b) per 100,000 of the population where an illness related to alcohol was a primary or secondary diagnosis in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The number and rate of finished admissions of patients with a primary or secondary alcohol-related diagnosis in each strategic health authority area can be found in the following table:
|Number and rate of finished admissions of patients with an alcohol-related diagnosis|
|Strategic health authority||Number of a dmissions||Rate o f admission per 100,000 population (EASR)||Number of admissions||Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR)||Number of admissions||Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR)||Number of admissions||Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR)||Number of admissions||Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR)|
|n/a = Not applicable.|
EASR - European Age-Standardised Rate.
Includes activity in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.
Alcohol-specific conditions are those defined as wholly attributed to alcohol, based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory. They are:
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)
Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)
Alcoholic liver disease (K70)
Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)
Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)
Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome (E24.4)
Chronic pancreatitis (alcohol induced) (K86.0)
Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)
Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)
Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)
Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)
Methanol poisoning (T51.1)
Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9)
Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-specific primary or secondary diagnosis These figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-specific diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-specific diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.
Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
Finished admission episodes
A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. It should be noted that admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.
As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 19 (13 from 2002-03 to 2007-08 and six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.
HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
Assessing growth through time
HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series.
Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity.
Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.
Assignment of Episodes to Years
Years are assigned by the end of the first period of care in a patient's hospital stay.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference of the national ambulance service management group. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There is no record in the Department of any group that goes by that name.
There is a national NHS Ambulance Chief Executives Group. This is an NHS-led group which is chaired by the chief executive of London ambulance service, Peter Bradley.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many requests for funding for protective vests for ambulance personnel have been made to his Department in the last two years; 
(2) what trials of personal protective equipment have been initiated in the ambulance service in the last two years; when each such trial is expected to finish; and when the conclusions of these studies will be published; 
(3) what representations he has received from frontline NHS ambulance trust staff on the issue of body armour in the last two years; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such representation. 
Ann Keen: Information on requests made to the Department for funding for protective vests for ambulance personnel in the last two years is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Information on trials of personal protective equipment in the ambulance service in the last two years is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Information on representations made to the Department from frontline ambulance staff on the issue of body armour in the last two years is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The NHS Security Management Service (SMS) can assist employers through guidance on assessing risks and acting to protect staff and, where incidents do occur, on taking action against offenders. The NHS SMS also works with stakeholders, including the Social Partnership Forum, to promote the safety and security of NHS staff.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance vehicles are based in each English county; what the ratio of ambulances to people is in each county; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department does not collect centrally information on the numbers of ambulances or the ratio of ambulances to people in each English county. Each ambulance service should plan to provide appropriate resources to meet local demand.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were treated by the National Health Service in each of the last five years for conditions contracted from animal faeces in public places. 
Gillian Merron: It is not known how many people were treated for infections that were contracted from animal faeces in a public place, as this level of information is not collected. Though data on laboratory confirmed infections that can be transmitted through contact with animal faeces are available, the precise source of the majority of the infections is not known. This is because many of these infections can be transmitted through multiple routes and from a range of sources. Data on all the common infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans, including via animal faeces, are published by the Health Protection Agency.
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